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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 81

Bostal Estate

page 38

Bostal Estate.

"This estate of 190 acres, the property of the Woolwich society, where houses are being erected by the works department of the society for the members, is possibly unique in the co-operative world. Over 600 houses are completed, and there is no trouble in disposing of the same. Trams, chartered by the society, met the delegates at the gates of the Arsenal for the purpose of conveying them to the estate. Here tea was provided in the Co-operative Hall, after which parties were conducted through the workshop, where the woodwork for the houses is prepared, and the flagstones for the pavement and window sills are manufactured. The Chalk Pit, on the model of a coal mine, was visited, and this being lighted by electricity, was the cause of much wonderment. Messrs. J. T. Harris and T. Smith, of the Woolwich society, conducted small parties through the Bostall Wood, where an al fresco concert on a small scale was held, and thoroughly enjoyed."

In 1902 the society had 18,662 members, with a share capital of £297,765. The trade for the year was £376,536, and the amount distributed to members on purchases £51,936; £163,812 was invested in members' houses.